My dentist retired. The man who took over is completely different. The type of care offered has been like night and day. My old dentist was gentle and compassionate. He knew I tended to get a little tense during dental care. And by a little tense, I mean all out freaked out. He always took the time to put me at ease and if I struggled too much, would have sedation on hand. He’d even have his assistant call my husband so he could come get me as I’d be a wee bit woozy. This new dentist just doesn’t seem to care. He runs everyone through the exact same way. He was so rough I had a panic attack. He stopped my appointment and said to come back when I can handle dental care. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to handle his type of dental care. How do I find a dentist like my old one?
The first thing I want to do is assure you that you’re not alone. In fact, many Americans have the same reaction to dentistry that you’re feeling. As you’ve experienced with your old dentist, that fear doesn’t have to keep you from getting good dental care. The trick is finding the right compassionate dentist for your needs.
There are many “conveyor belt” practices which treat each patient as identical to all their other patients. Even if you didn’t have the worry of dental anxiety hovering over you, everyone’s body is different. Each patient responds a little differently to their healthcare as well.
While finding a dentist who’ll be understanding of your particular situation and need, there are a few key terms you can use during your search to help narrow down the results.
- Cater to Cowards Dentist
- Sedation Dentist
- Gentle Dentist
Each of these dentists, by using these specific terms, is indicating that they work with fearful patients. However, claiming something doesn’t always make it true. It’s always a wise idea to verify by checking their reviews. Make sure patients who’ve been in their office before have had good experiences with them. Yelp! and Google Reviews are both good options to check.
Some dentists even do a complimentary consultation so you have a chance to get a feel for what their personality and office are like. Being proactive, as you are, is the best way to handle this. Too many patients with dental phobias wait until they have a dental emergency. Then, what could have been a simple filling turns out to need extensive work, or worse. They lose the tooth altogether and have to replace it.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.